February 15th, 2012

GC Capital Ideas Top Stories: January 2012

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

1. Guy Carpenter, January 1, 2012, Renewals Reveal Shift in Industry Behavior: The January 1, 2012, renewals saw a shift in industry behavior as both insurers and reinsurers implemented more sophisticated, customized approaches to risk assessment and mitigation, according to Guy Carpenter. In its 2012 global reinsurance outlook, Catastrophes, Cold Spots and Capital: Navigating for Success in a Transitioning Market, Guy Carpenter reported that reinsurers were in a position to undertake a major review of pricing and underwriting going into the renewal season. This led to significant market fragmentation and increased market volatility at January 1.

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2. Risk Profile, Appetite, and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness: Prior to the recent turbulence in the financial markets, insurers and reinsurers were increasing their use of enterprise risk management to make risk and capital management decisions. While this was driven in part by rating agencies and regulators, many carriers began to recognize the value of metric-based frameworks and capital models in evaluating their portfolios.

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3. Guy Carpenter’s January 2012, Reinsurance Renewal Report: Executive Summary: The (re)insurance sector experienced historic catastrophe losses in 2011, many in areas not previously considered ‘peak’ risks. Devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, floods in Thailand and Australia and a record-breaking tornado season in the United States contributed to insured losses in excess of USD100 billion. As carriers continue to penetrate new growth regions, ‘cold spot’ losses are expected to increase.

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4. 2011 Catastrophe Update: Historical Global Losses, Cluster of Costly International Losses: 2011 has been an unusually eventful year for the (re)insurance sector. In addition to the challenging economic environment and major catastrophe model updates, (re)insurers were hit by an exceptional accumulation of global natural catastrophes. Two of the most damaging earthquakes in recent times struck Japan and New Zealand early in the year, causing huge losses. Several other significant events, including devastating floods in Thailand and Australia, a record breaking tornado season in the United States and Hurricane Irene making landfall along the U.S. east coast, combined to cause insured losses of around USD108 billion in 2011.

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5. Cruise Ship Grounding, Italy: At least six people died after a luxury cruise ship carrying 4,229 passengers and crew ran aground off the Italian west coast on January 13 in calm weather conditions. Italian, Spanish, German, French, British and American nationals were reported to be among the 3,200 passengers on board the vessel. The 290-meter-long Costa Concordia was on a trip around the Mediterranean when it hit rocks near Isola del Giglio off the Tuscan coast, ripping a hole in its hull and prompting a major rescue operation. A large gash can be seen in the ship’s hull but officials said its fuel tanks did not appear to have been damaged, lessening the danger of an oil spill.

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6. GC Podcast 17 - 3rd Q 2011 Reinsurance Sector Financials, Preview of 4th Q (David Flandro) Guy Carpenter Global Head of Business Intelligence David Flandro discusses 3rd Quarter 2011 reinsurance sector financials, their impact on January 1 renewals and a preview of 4th Quarter data in this new GC Capital Ideas podcast.

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7. Guy Carpenter Examines Multi-Model Approach in New Report on Managing Catastrophe Model Uncertainty: The report addresses the merits of adopting a multi-model approach to estimate risk and control uncertainty. Three strategies for using multiple models are examined: model blending, model morphing and model fusion. The study also provides extensive background on how catastrophe models are used and the potential sources of uncertainty in cat model results.

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8. Update: Floods in Thailand: Thailand has experienced its worst flooding in years over the last few months, leaving more than 420 people dead and causing severe damage across northern and central regions of the country. The floods have severely damaged and disrupted manufacturing operations in Thailand.

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9. Chart Room: January 1, 2012 Reinsurance Renewal, Europe Property Catastrophe - Typical ROL Changes

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10. Terrorism: Global Terror Attacks and Hotspots: The increasingly diverse and dispersed threat has seen worldwide terrorist activity rise in recent years. The number of global terrorist attacks peaked at more than 14,400 in 2006. Although there has been a slight dip in the number of attacks over the last five years, they remain at historically high levels. Attacks increased dramatically in Afghanistan and Iraq following the deployment of coalition combat troops. Several other countries have also witnessed a big jump in terrorist activity recently, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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